Crown Royal: Maple

Welcome to the first ride of the year on the Whiskey train! crown royal maple Happy New year everyone! Is it far too late in the month for that? Well anyhow, I am so excited about sharing my thoughts on this sweet gem. I decided well in the early fall back in old 2014 that I wanted to bring a honey whiskey to the “Whiskey Train” and only just got around to it. Much like beer, one of my favorite things about whiskey in general are the actual complexities of the spirit itself. There is so much more to whiskey than most people realize in terms of flavor and process. I hear all the time (from non whiskey drinkers) that frightened fear of it as though the moment you start sipping on the “dark liquor” you’ll turn into a raging lunatic on a Friday night with no memory of your actions in the morning. Now this can definitely occur but most avid whiskey drinkers have spent years and lots of tasting to figure out their perfect brand or mixture. It is actually a long road that requires diligence and focus..much like college. If you give up the journey you will never attain the knowledge in the end to apply elsewhere. Well that may be an exaggeration…hehe but you get my gist. Get into that bar and ask for a taste of something you haven’t had the guts to try before! Don’t be afraid to ask your local liquor purveyor for their opinion about that beautiful shelf of whiskey wonder! Enjoy!

-Did you know-

Crown Royal is a blended Canadian whiskey, yup and is 40% alcohol by volume putting it at 80 proof. It is also the top-selling Canadian whiskey in the United States, perhaps  even the world? Some say. And I was glad to find out it is only actually produced at the Crown Royal distillery which is located in Gimli, on the shores of beautiful Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada. It’s a good thing I don’t live near a distillery, because I am almost certain I would spend all my time attempting to get in there in the hopes of following the master distillers around with a little note pad asking a million questions, which would probably result in some kind of restraining order. 🙂


Don’t have the balls to drink it “On the Rocks”….. Well then, Let’s Mix it up! Here are 3 great mix cocktails using Maple Whiskey, A maple lemonade, A maple old fashioned and Maple cider. Yummy!

1 oz. Crown Royal Whiskey, lemonade to taste. Poured over ice and lots of lemons all in a high ball glass.

1 oz. Crown Royal Whiskey, lemonade to taste. Poured over ice and lots of lemons all in a high ball glass.

0.75 oz. Crown Royal Maple, 0.75 oz Bulleit rye, 1 tsp Demerara syrup, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, 1 dash whiskey barrel aged bitters. Combine all ingredients into cocktail shaker, strain into rocks glass, garnish with lemon and orange twist.

0.75 oz. Crown Royal Maple, 0.75 oz Bulleit rye, 1 tsp Demerara syrup, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, 1 dash whiskey barrel aged bitters. Combine all ingredients into cocktail shaker, strain into rocks glass, garnish with lemon and orange twist.

1.5 oz Crown Royal Maple, 2 oz Apple cider, Hot water ( to taste). Mix whiskey and cider in coffee mug, top off with hot water and garnish with a pat of butter and cinnamon stick.

1.5 oz Crown Royal Maple, 2 oz Apple cider, Hot water ( to taste). Mix whiskey and cider in coffee mug, top off with hot water and garnish with a pat of butter and cinnamon stick.

With quiet notes of maple honey all throughout each sip, Crown Royal: Maple is the only honey flavored whiskey I really can enjoy without needing a  water back chaser. It’s doesn’t possess that overwhelming sweet flavor that makes some other honey whiskies unbearably sweet and thus rather undrinkable. Despite the fairly strong aroma, it has a subtle sweetness that makes it perfect for drinking it neat ( with no ice) and it carries a smoothness that forgoes that heartburn after feeling. I felt like I noticed some wonderful undertones of roasted nuts and that yummy-ness that is oak barrels when you first sip it. ♥ It’s kind of perfect for mid autumn weather wrapped in a knit sweater, sitting outside perhaps. It’s maple flavor is reminiscent of a time that has passed already, where the bees buzzed around the July flowers and the faint sounds of a golden retriever’s vociferous  laughs on the breeze that has just swept by your scope of hearing, only a moment ago. Anyhow, that’s how I felt when I enjoyed a glass or two of the maple. 🙂

 


 

A Royal Beginning- I have a borderline unhealthy obsession with all things having to do with the English monarchy throughout history. My favorite genre of books to read besides race-y sci-fi romance is historical fiction ( I’ll not bore you to death with the details) taking place in the English country side, revolving around any and everyone living near or around an English monarch during the 12th, 13th, 14th or 15th centuries. I’m getting to the point. In an attempt to write about Crown’s new maple variation of whiskey I came across some fabulous tid-bits that lend themselves to the history of one of my now favorite whiskies. So here it is. And as Elizabeth I is my favorite English monarch the start of Crown Royal began more than appropriately. Created by Seagram’s chairman Samuel Bronfman to celebrate King George VI and Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Canada for the first time, Crown Royal was the result. A smooth and unique blend of whiskey, it was a seemingly perfect gift. As they were royalty, you can imagine that just any old gift box would not do. And what would be more fitting than a bag of beautiful velvet made in nothing less than the color of royalty itself, purple, and then adorned with a drawstring of gold, as was the tradition in times of old.

Fun Facts- -Today 50 million purple bags are filled with a bottle of Crown Royal and shared with the world. -Crown Royal offers exclusive membership privileges if you become apart of their ” Society of the Crown”- which I think sounds amazing if your into not so secret societies. – Fabulously Crown Royal makes their signature velvet bags in the shape of hang-able Christmas stockings ( ho ho ho) – They even make camouflage crown royal bags to send over seas to all our troops, teaming up with the non-profit organization “Operation Troop”. Aid volunteers from all over the world stuff the bags with personal items, snacks and phone cards .

Look at this gem I found online! Via  www.butterfanliving.com   Now you go ahead and tell me what is better than cookies….I’ll wait. Cookies with booze in them! Yes that’s right folks, trolling the wonderful world-wide web I came across this cookie recipe with crown royal in it and after the initial upset that I didn’t come up with it myself, a wonderful happiness settled in because everyone loves cookies and now we can enjoy them in a new and decadent buzzed kind of way.                   Well this is your stop, hope you enjoyed the ride… See you soon. ❤ Cassandra                     crown royal maple cookies

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The many faces of Jameson!

 

S1130-2Welcome aboard the Whiskey Train! This month I was thinking I’d re-discover my favorite whiskey, Jameson. Like so many people I was quiet unawares of the many variants produced by the Jameson distillery. In a comfortable relationship with my regular old Jameson Original, it wasn’t until this very year that I even perused the idea of trying another type. It never dawned on me once to browse the whiskey isle for something different. Then one day my boyfriend, the wonderful Red, brought back a bottle of whiskey from the liquor store. It looked like Jameson, It smelled like Jameson…. but the bottle was a bit different. It was indeed a bottle of Jameson, triple distilled, black barrel special reserve, to be more specific. You can imagine my shock and dismay.

It drinks quite smooth and is easily taken neat or on the rocks without needing a mixer of any kind. Ever have one of those weeks where you worked about as hard as an Egyptian slave working on those damned pyramids? Well then, this is one of those adult cocktails that you pour for yourself only after you’ve run a really hot bath after such a week. The regular Jameson ages anywhere from 5 to 7 years but this black barrel stuff is aged in the barrel for at least 12 years. It’s fairly rich and deep in it has notes of vanilla for me, but the professionals have noted stewed apple and toasted woods among the vanilla flavor.

Well, since 1780 John Jameson, who was actually Scottish, acquired the Bow Street Distillery and so began the wonderful journey of producing what would become one of the worlds most popular and recognizable whiskey brands. Today Jameson is the worlds third largest single-distillery. Which is nothing to sneeze at I’d say.

There are a few different Jameson Reserves but the one in which I speak of is actually produced in small batches and is manufactured and shipped in pretty limited quantities in the US. At about 70$ a bottle (at least in the liquor stores in Edison, NJ) it is almost certainly worth it.

  • Jameson 12 Year Old Special Reserve (Formerly known as Jameson 1780)
  • Jameson 12 Year Old Distillery Reserve is available at their two visitor centres in Ireland and also available from their online shop.
  • Jameson Gold Reserve (the only expression of Jameson that uses virgin American oak).
  • Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve
  • Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve (Jameson’s oldest and rarest whiskey components).
  • Jameson Signature Reserve (exclusive to Travel Retail & Duty Free outlets around the world).
  • Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel (available in limited quantities in the US; known as “Small Batch” outside the US)

 

How is it made you say? Good question. They use something called malted and unmalted Irish barley, all of which is said to come from within close range of the distillery in Cork, Ireland. They dry the barley and fire it in a kiln. So this is very distinctly different from how Scottish Whiskey is made because they fire their barley with peat in the kiln, which gives Irish and Scottish whiskey a pretty different flavor. Sounds like the beginning of a taste test comparison, in the near future hehehe.

The company also participates in a short film contest called “Jameson First Shot”, which was established to search and find creative people new to the film industry. If you win your film is produced by a company that works in conjunction with Jameson called Trigger Street productions founded by none other than the wonderfully talented Kevin Spacey himself. As a winner you are also privy to the talents of an a-list celebrity to star in your movie. Open to people of South Africa, Russia and the USA .Who knew!!!!

 How about this for something incredibly randomly awesome! There are Jameson Bartenders Balls, yes that is what I said. Jameson Bartender Balls, all over the country apparently. What these are and what they consist of is pretty interesting and but mostly unknown to me but also super random….they are private events for bartenders and management I guess that have retail accounts and require a RSVP in advance. It’s pretty hush-hush and I think you might actually need an invitation from Jameson themselves, but good to know I suppose if you ever thinking of crashing an awesome party. This would be a good place to start. The only information I could find on the next one is that it is happening in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Moonshine: Let’s do it.

Whiskey, whiskey, good for the heart, the more you drink…….the less you fart?? No, that can’t be right. Nevertheless welcome to the whiskey train this month, today we will be speaking on the ever elusive Moonshine Whiskey. Is it illegal still? What’s the alcohol percentage? Where can you buy it? Why is it even called moonshine? These are the questions that usually pop into my mind when I think of Moonshine and the answers are forever blurry or better yet, unknown to me. So, today we will try to discover as much as we can about the wonderfully clear drink (without thinking too hard) that is associated with so many of those wonderful backwater hill billy parties you see on TV shows that we all wish we were invited to.

How the distilling process works. I love pictures!

Moonshine, as we know it today, is basically made up of cornmeal, water, yeast and sugar.

Moonshine is made from a grain like corn or rye, making it a Whiskey folks. That’s why it’s gracing the pages of the “Whiskey Train” 🙂

We all understand, I am assuming, the ins and outs of  why it’s called moonshine? Well I will tell you anyways. Interestingly enough the word Moonshining was a general term that referred to any kind of  “job” or whatever that took place at night. It’s probably safe to assume most activity in those days that happened only when the moon was shining was probably illegal…. So that there is no confusion, Moonshiners made the liquor and Bootleggers smuggled and sold it.

All alcohol needs two special things to happen for us to be able to get nice and trashed when it’s all finished and made. Fermentation and Distillation. I would go into detail about what both those processes are but I decided if you are reading this and don’t know perhaps you shouldn’t be reading the ‘Whiskey Train’ section of my blog. Or you can just google it or refer to the nice diagram I have placed above..your welcome.

Oh… one of the reasons moonshine is often so strong and has such a kick to it is because, in general, moonshine whiskey is what you get straight from the tap without being stored for long periods of time in a barrel. Which is what we do to most of our liquor produced in clean and shiny government regulated facilities. It’s often 150 proof which is something like 75% alcohol.

Is it still illegal to produce? Well to be clear, according to the federal government any alcoholic beverage produced at home with the intention to drink it is illegal. Weird, I wonder if that includes sangria or home-brewed beer? Anyhow, the answer is basically yes. The reason being the government just isn’t handing out licenses for producing alcohol to every Tom, Dick and Harry who want to make moonshine. This has something to do with being able to tax people enough I guess to make it worthwhile for the government and for public safety. Apparently it can be very dangerous if you produce a bad batch as the process is a delicate thing and can go wrong if fools are doing it. I am  not totally sure and mostly don’t actually care. I’m not too concerned about families making moonshine who have been doing it since actual prohibition, but if you don’t know someone who makes that clear magic under some giant 100-year-old willow tree 20 miles outside of town, there are actual government approved moonshine products that can be purchased at your local liquor store. Which are good? Well, here are few I found that are popular. You be the judge. One at a time though, preferably on different days.

1. Tim Smith’s Climax Moonshine, 90 proof

tim smith moonshine

 

I haven’t had the pleasure of trying this one yet and I think it probably needs no description. The name seemingly speaks for itself.

 

 

 2.Old Smokey Tennessee Moonshine, 100 proof

old smokey tennessee moonshine

 

This brand of Moonshine I have actually tasted. I read the reviews for the flavor profile for this one and apparently it “tastes like day old chinese food white rice” and “soggy old bread”. If my memory serves me correctly I remember actually enjoying this one. I may have had a chaser though and/or been drunk when I decided it tasted good. 🙂

 

3.Buffalo Trace White dog Mash # 1, 125 proof

buffalo trace moonshine

 

The only thing I could find about this one was that the burning sensation in your throat after you drink it is unforgettable. As in, It actually may burn your throat. I’d try it.

 

 

 

4. Hudson New York Corn Whiskey, 92 proof

hudson ny corn whiskey

 

This Brand of Whiskey/Bourbon happens to be one of my favorite, they produce a Baby Bourbon that I never can find in liquor stores but love bunches. I was actually surprised, as I didn’t know they made moonshine. Thank you Internet!

 

 

 

5.Kings County Distillery Moonshine, 80 Proof

kings county moonshine

 

Aside from the one taster saying it “tastes like pee” I like the bottle and it seems to be a popular one.

 

 

Now If you have ever had some good old fashion Moonshine from a neighbor or at a party where you literally have to pass it around then you already know the wonderful enjoyment it can bring. But be ware, it isn’t meant for soft tummy light weights who feel the need to jug every liquor that has a good jingle in their commercial.

It’s been sometime since I myself have had any but the last time I did I was sitting around with friends in the hot summer weather passing the mason jar around and laughing simply because we felt like it. I was inspired to mention Moonshine for this section of my blog since I love whiskey so much but wasn’t sure what to say as I do not come across Moonshine very often in my everyday life. 🙂 Perhaps that should go on my list of summer adventures! But my favorite thing about Moonshine itself is its long history in this country, dredged in mystery and strange myths, what it actually meant to people and their families during prohibition, a way to provide extra income. The production is difficult and requires years of experience and know how to get it to be perfectly drinkable. And to the Moonshiners still doing it today, I salute you.

Hope you enjoyed your ride on the Whiskey Train today. And remember, if you decide to have an evening of moonshine fun, don’t make plans for the next day. Like, don’t drink an entire mason jar or even a third for that matter, if you have work tomorrow. 🙂

Happy Sippin’…… safely!

 

❤ Cassandra

 

Illustration courtesy of: science.howstuffworks.com

 

Canadian Whiskey

  

In my quest to discover all things wonderfully whisky I am sometimes exposed to different ways of drinking different types of drinks. One of my favorite discoveries this year has been the various Canadian whiskies that exist that I was ignorant of. I have a  long way to go in terms of being well versed, however I am well on my way with a little research and some taste testing evenings, I have enjoyed this past winter.

Canadian Whiskey: The rules in Canada in regards to type of grain and label restrictions are rather lax. There is only one law required, that it is fermented, distilled and aged in Canada. Lots of Canadian whisky is called “Rye Whiskey” but are in fact blends of multiple grains. The primary grain used in Canadian whiskey is corn, a great example is Seagrams, they blend over 50 batches to make their whisky. Most though are blends of 15-20 different batches. This includes Crown Royal and Canadian Club. In terms of great Canadian whisky facts, I’ve read lots and lots of stuff and mostly it’s just not as interesting as simply tasting some good old fashion whisky from Canada. 🙂

I’ve also discovered a website dedicated to only Canadian Whiskey, it reads like a blog . It’s appropriately called Canadianwhisky.com (spelled how everyone besides Ireland and America spells it.)

 

List of Popular Canadian Whiskies (I have tasted) I have rated them accordingly… 1 ❤ = tastes better mixed, 2 ❤ = good for only 2 or  3 drinks, 3 ❤ = pretty good neat, 4 ❤ = would definitely drink again neat,  ? = can’t quite remember how much i like it

Black Velvet

Canadian Club

Canadian Mist ❤ ❤

Crown Royale ❤ ❤ ❤

Dr. McGillicuddy’s

Forty Creek ❤ ❤ 1/2

Gibson’s ❤

Lord Culvert ❤

Rich and Rare ❤

McCaster’s ❤

Seagrams ❤ ❤

Windsor ?

Wiser’s ?

Yukon Jack ?

Some awesome Canadian Whisky I plan on trying:

1.Masterson’s 12 year  straight wheat whisky ( 50 % by alc/vol )

Palate- It’s said to be quite hot and spicy but also sweet. Has a luscious mouth feel. There is an earthy tone and the finish is peppery and tingly with a hint of gingerly spiciness.

From all that I have read about this whisky, it is highly recommended and tastes absolutely wonderful. I have found it online priced for 79$ but I am not sure what size bottle that price is for.

 

  1. Crown Royal Black- At 90 proof  I’ve read many a review, at first taste it’s smooth and mellow and especially delicious served neat (with no ice) . There is a bit of a bite I would assume but is described as having caramel, vanilla and dark cherry notes. As I re-read this to edit I realized I have in fact tasted this whisky. My boyfriend Red loves this one! hehe I forgot. However I don’t drink this regularly nor did I remember having tasting it so it remains on the list of whisky to try. We will call this one a do over. 🙂

 

There are also so many weird myths about Canadian Whisky I have found on the internet and have overheard at bars. For example I read an entire article that apparently was published in some magazine about how Canadian Whisky is just brown vodka. That is just so absurdly absurd that I wound up reading the article again to make sure it wasn’t a joke or something. So for the sake of having another article and more to write about, keep an eye out for more interesting things about Canadian Whisky. I’ll let you know what I know as I figure it all out.

Hope you enjoyed this little snippet. 🙂

Happy sippin’

Cassandra

 

Interesting Whiskey facts.

Hey whiskey drinkers, lovers and newbies!

I read somewhere that knowledge is power, and I always want to know more about whiskey. On my quest to live it and learn it, I’ve come across some general facts about whiskey. Some known and some not so known. I would say I wasn’t aware of most of the little whiskey truths I stumbled upon the day I decided to make this slightly intriguing list. If you have any really cool or strange facts I have over looked please feel free to comment and share. yay! Here we go.

images (9)

Whiskey on the rocks!

One shot has 0 fat and .04 carbs. Which basically sounds healthy to me.

 The word whiskey literally means “Water of life”. Ummm…. awesome sauce. It comes from the Gaelic word “Uisge Beatha”.

 Whiskey was a form of currency in 18th century Pennsylvania. Meaning you could have paid your cable bill with whatever money you didn’t spend on drinks that weekend. hehe

A closed bottle of whiskey is good for 100 years! An opened bottle is good for 5 yrs. So all in all… if you are planning on saving an awesome bottle  for one of your descendants, there is no need to fear, your whiskey will hold up. Just what I was planning 🙂

 

whiskey casks

A beautiful basement of whiskey barrels

May 17th of 2014 was World Whiskey Day. I can only say that I am almost certain I celebrated on this day because I stumbled upon this little treasure of a fact before May 17th and made it my business to put it on my calendar in order to have a random reason to celebrate something.

Tabasco sauce is aged in barrels that previously contained Jack Daniels. My boyfriend loved this one. He uses hot sauce like someone is paying him to use it. lol I’m serious. (keep an eye out for my upcoming list of my top ten hot sauces)

All bourbon is whiskey but not all whiskey is bourbon. If this seems confusing I have done you the pleasure of putting together a list within this list, that may or may not explain how this is possible and the differences:

Whiskey can be aged in re-used barrels but the law requires Bourbon  be aged in New charred American white oak barrels. H2O is the only thing that can be added to Bourbon and only to bring it down to proof. Other whiskey makers can add color (although I have read other sources that say otherwise so when I figure out if this is actually true I shall update this ). Whiskey is distilled from a fermented mash of grain which usually contains rye, corn, barley or wheat. Bourbon (by law in the US) is distilled from a mash of grain that contains no less than 51% corn and is made in USA.

In America we import 120 million bottles of whiskey a year. It should be noted that I found this “fact” on some random website but it seems extremely believable to me…. after all we are the country of over consumption. In all things.

monks

This may be a photo of monks harvesting wheat. 🙂

Whiskey was first made in Ireland, according to my sources, by missionary monks. They seem to create all the good stuff. Meaning beer and whiskey. I read that long ago, beer and wine was what people drank mainly as oppose to water, I guess in medieval times the water sources were often contaminated, not sure why boiling water first was difficult but nevertheless, yay monks!

 

In conclusion ( haven’t used that ending since junior high) these are some of the more interesting whiskey facts I have found then chuckled at.  Some are eyebrow raisers, either way it’s always good to be in the know in regards to my continuing efforts to be in the know about my favorite spirit.

 

 Happy sipping.

Cassandra

 

 

Irish Mist: A wonderful new discovery

 

irish mist

 

 

 

mister

Here is Red enjoying a whiskey and ginger!

One night very recently, my boyfriend came home after a whiskey shin-dig with his friends and along with flushed freckled cheeks and his radiant bearded smile, he had in his arms a partially drunk bottle of whiskey. Shiny green bottle that it was, my eyes lit up with a peak of interest. As they usually do when I see a beautiful bottle of whiskey, which is to say most are pretty damn beautiful. After about five minutes of giggling I realized he was saying that the name of it was Irish Mist.  An almost romantical (yes I made this word up ) quality to it.  The name sort of makes me feel like it’s a drink that you’d catch one of those radiant elves from Lord of the Rings drinking. I’ve never tasted it so you can imagine my excitement to get to sleep so tomorrow would be here so I could patiently wait for a decent hour (as not to seem like a lush hehe ) to give it a try. I waited until 5 pm. The worlds preferred happy hour. 🙂 Thus beginning one of my favorite past times….figuring out how I’d like to drink it, if it does indeed taste good and if so, why.

 

 

A brief history

So it’s said that the nobles of the ancient clans of Ireland had drunk heather wine for centuries, a spirit combined with honey, spices and herbs. The secret of said drink apparently disappeared   in 1691. Then, quite fantastically , a European traveler found an old manuscript with a recipe that was recognize by a Desmond Williams, who then transformed it into Irish Mist setting up the Irish Mist Liqueur Company. The company dates back to 1829 in Tullemore, Ireland and then it was in the 1940’s when Desmond made his discovery.

According to their website it’s Ireland’s first original whiskey liqueur and is a blend of Irish whiskey, honey and natural aromatic spices. Although I am uncertain if unnatural spices exist.

Tastes great:

  • With cola and lime over ice

  • On it’s own

  • As an Irish coffee, you simply add a generous amount to a freshly brewed cup of java! Voila! Always a wonderful thing to start a brunch out with or even a soccer game day.

 

Color: Golden

Aroma: Yummy and whiskey like

Finish: Subtle hints of honey and caramel

Why I loved it– I had a ton of thoughts  to put to paper the next evening so I poured myself  a glass of Irish Mist over some ice, splashed an ounce or two of coca cola in it and my search for a lemon or lime in my fridge ended with me using an orange instead. I squeezes a little juice from the orange in it. It was fantastic. I was pleasantly surprised. It definitely had a strong note of citrus but the underlying flavor of honey was wonderful. I immediately decided this was a great drink for the evenings when you want a lighter kind of whiskey. It’s great  if your wanna have one long drink ,if you mix it and if your preference is to simply drink it neat (with no ice) then the honey flavor is complimented by a slight nuttiness too. Wonderful I say! The finish was very clean and lingered, in a really good way.

So, all in all, give it a try if you see at your local pub or go all in and buy a bottle, even if you don’t like it on the rocks (with ice) or neat then keep it for those mixed whiskey drinks you want to share with company. Besides you never can have too few options of whiskey to drink when entertaining. 🙂

Drink merrily!  ❤

Cassandra

The perfect marriage, whiskey and beer.

Whiskey, whiskey, whiskey!…. I chant out loud whilst waiting for the bartender, slowly sipping on my beer of choice. That’s the dialogue that plays out in my mind when I’m over do for a little zing with my zang.The zing being some dark liquor and the zang being the carbonated beverage we call beer! Sometimes for me there is nothing like having a beer with a whiskey neat on the side. There are just some occasions where a beer alone simply will not do. hash tag fact.

If I’m known to be a beer girl then it would be misleading and inappropriate of me to not share the true love story of the single beer meeting  the single whiskey at a crowded dim-lit lounge area and knowing for sure they were meant to be. Because after all a marriage is the coming together of two things that both compliment and enhance the beauty and strengths of the other. One holding steadfast where the other may fall short.  Now a strong knowledge of whiskey and beer I believe comes with time and tasting. I have so much to still learn but I also am often excited about all that I’ve learned thus far, not only about the simple every day Jameson that I can rely on being at most establishments with a bar but others that you might only encounter through curiosity, recommendation or chance.

images (2)

Beer and whiskey are two sides of the same coin, says Dave Smith, a distiller and whiskey blender at St. George Spirits. “I was a beer drinker before graduating to whiskey—and I suspect most folks are the same. We recognize flavors and aromatics in whiskey that are echoes of what we love in beer because they both come from grain but go on to different destinations.” So poetic is this description I could not have said it better myself.

Now I have researched many a master brewers mention and recommendation for pairings, read countless blogs and forums on what goes best with what but, honestly I think that the ones I have actually tried have given me a good amount of insight so far as to what pairings I might enjoy now and in the future. So I will highlight some pairings I have already enjoyed  and those I plan to try  on the advice of older, wiser and more drunk individuals who make their choices for all types of reasons. Some people enjoy a beer paired with a whiskey or bourbon that have similar flavors to compliment each other while others enjoy very contrasting pairings that bring their own unique tastes in the end.

If you want to start pairing but don’t know quite where to begin, maybe your knowledge of whiskey and bourbon is minimal (like mine) or you find yourself intimidated by the endless options of beers to tap into, you can begin here with these general pairings and graduate slowly from there.

1-A Stout beer is perfectly paired with an Irish whiskey:                

Guiness + Powers irish whiskey= This is how they drink it in Dublin and for that reason alone it works for me.

Guinness + Red Breast irish whiskey

Innis & Gunn’s Irish cask stout + Jameson black barrel whiskey = A great combo of a 60 day aged beer in whiskey barrels giving a deep rich finish and a 12-year-old whiskey with notes of orange peel, chocolate and hazelnut. An honestly amazing pair and I am not a stout drinker. I’m not sure how regularly available these are at most bars but worth an ask to taste.

Brooklyn dry Irish stout + Jameson = I’ve read that the blend of grains make this beer have an espresso like feel with chocolate and coffee flavors afterwards. Yummy yummy with  even just a shot of Jameson if you prefer not to sip on your whiskey.

2-  IPA ‘s and  Pale Ales are enhanced by any type of  Rye or Single Malt in my mind:

Bear Republic’s Racer 5 + Deaths Door = This beer is grapefruit-y with a 6% abv and the whiskey is 100% organic wheat and barley so fun all around for the taste buds I think.

Brooklyn Lager + Old Overholt Rye whiskey = I’ve never personally paired these two but I have heard many a good review on how delicious a pairing it is. Plus Brooklyn is one of the really great breweries.

Irish Red Pale Ale + Bushmills single malt

Smithwicks Irish ale + Wild Turkey rye = Not my favorite whatsoever but I’ve come across too many people who seem to genuinely enjoy this pairing not to at least share it with others. Because although Wild Turkey has never called out to me it might be an undiscovered favorite for you. 

There are of course so many others that are amazing together but the above briefly illustrates a small place to begin when expanding you afternoon buzz and love of whiskey and beer. I love IPA’s more than any other  style of beer there is and I will try a new one any time I get a chance. I often don’t pair my IPA’s with whiskey at all actually but for all the other beers that make me smile with their crisp beginning or stouts that fill me up when I’m feeling kind of lite there is always a good whiskey I can count on to go with it. It’s up to you to get unnecessarily drunk on your quest to find a great pair and marry them together.

This is one of my favorite whiskeys, I don’t often find it in bars but when I do I’m that much happier for it.

whiskey

So drink up and be merry, safely of course. 🙂